Director: Scott Silver
Screenwriters: Scott Silver

Institute History

  • 1996 Sundance Film Festival


With each passing generation, the line separating children from adults becomes hazier. The harsh realities of living on the streets has a way of crushing the innocent, creating a world where dreams often provide the only source of salvation. johns, Scott Silver’s piercing first feature, weaves a tale of tragedy and comedy along Los Angeles’s infamous Santa Monica Boulevard.

The story unfolds over the course of one day, focusing on John (David Arquette), a twenty-year-old street hustler, and Donner (Lukas Haas), his naive protégé. John’s dream is to celebrate his birthday by spending one night in the most glorious hotel in town. All he needs is three hundred dollars. Together John and Donner attempt to realize this modest aspiration. However, the events that follow lead them through a labyrinth of obstacles, where it seems everyone is out to get them, and not everything is as it appears. Stunning cinematography perfectly captures both the beauty and horror of the streets of Los Angeles. This, coupled with standout performances by Arquette and Haas, brings to life this modern fable, where young men learn the true meaning of friendship, sacrifice, and courage.

— Trevor Groth

Screening Details

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